Editorial: Back To School

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The dog days of summer are coming to an end as we begin our preparations for the new school year. Stores are full of shoppers purchasing the list of supplies needed for the beginning of school, but that list is constantly changing and the purchases are much different from the time you and I went to school. Going to Staples was a natural trip to purchase composition notebooks, folders, pencils and paper—but today’s academic requirements are much different than that of yesteryear.

Here’s a budget breakdown for getting the little ones back on the bus. According to the National Retail Federation, parents will spend $26.5 billion on K-12 back-to-school necessities this year. That’s an average $669.28 per child, up five percent from last year’s $634.78. Elementary school children cost the least, with high school kids nearing the top of the estimates.

There is more than just the new backpack, binders, notebooks and glue sticks. Now technology is key to the students success across all districts. Thus, iPads have replaced notebooks as important tools for receiving and sending school assignments, which increases the costs per student. This technology used to be in the secondary schools, but now it is pushing down into the primary grades.

One element that hasn’t changed is youngsters’ need to hit the new year with the newest fashion trends. And those fresh outfits don’t come cheap. With new clothes and new shoes to start of the new year, the bill comes to an even heftier number.

There is also the school supplies for the classroom, which includes tissues and hand sanitizer. Parents aren’t the only ones footing the school supply bills, public school teachers also augment their classroom materials an average of $149 for supplies and $198 instructional materials, most of the time out of their own pockets.

So get your credit card ready—it is time to go back to school!

—Elizabeth Johnson

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you! Send a letter to the editor to smosco@antonmediagroup.com.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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